The Zimbabwean Achievers Awards have been set up to “recognise Zimbabweans throughout the UK who have pushed the limits against all the odds to raise the Zimbabwean flag high and do both themselves and their fellow countrymen proud” according to the website. When I received the call notifying me of my nomination I was knee deep in well rotted horse manure, and feeling anything but the entrepreneurial business woman flying her national flag high! It is an incredible honour to be nominated by this burgeoning bud of positive Zimbabweans who are striving to make a difference here in the UK.
It was humbling to read about what our UK based Zimbabweans have achieved, some literally risking life and limb in the front line of duty, whilst others are fighting for the human rights of fellow Zimbabweans, boosting tourism and encouraging entrepreneurship back in Zimbabwe. Pruning Mrs Smith’s roses for her seems terribly inadequate amongst this lot, and I feel incredibly lucky to have even been considered, never mind nominated!
Ed’s has been a hugely supportive part of my business growth, and a mix of wonderful clients and hardworking, passionate employee’s have allowed me to grow my business during a time of recession. I think a large part of this is due to my Zimbabwean upbringing; a phrase I was weaned on was “We’ll make a plan” if things went wrong. Friends in the UK have taught me a new one, “Fancy trainers and kissy lips won’t get you across the finish line” , something I often repeat to myself during the wettest, bleakest and lonelist days. My parents and brothers taught me the importance of integrity, of doing what you say you’ll do, and of supporting those around you. I have aspired to bring this with me into my business and have been lucky to have clients who have been flexible and supportive during the growth stages. People often ask me if I want to go ‘home’, but Zimbabwe is with me in the way I speak, the person I am, the friends and family I have, and in so many of my memories. The UK has offered me an incredible opportunity to start and run a business, and I have been overwhelmed by the positivity and support of both professionals and friends here. A lot like the horse manure, I think the best option for now is to spread the love for both!